The Gambling Act 2005 identifies which legal lotteries require a Gambling Commission licence or local authority registration.

Large society lotteries

These are promoted for the benefit of a non-commercial society with distinct aims and objectives and meets the definition of a non-commercial society set out in the Act.

This type of lottery must be licensed by the Gambling Commission if the proceeds may exceed £20,000 in a single lottery, or the combined proceeds in a calendar year have exceeded £250,000.

Local authority lotteries

Promoted by a local authority where the proceeds may be used for any purpose, requires a licence from the Gambling Commission.

Small society lotteries

A lottery where the proceeds will not exceed £20,000 in a single lottery and the combined proceeds do not exceed £250,000 in a calendar year.

Although a licence isn’t required, the lottery must be registered with the local authority where the society’s head office is located.

Apply to register a small lottery

The application process usually takes 14 days and you must wait until the application has been determined before you proceed.

Statutory return form

The promoting society of a small society lottery has a duty to accurately reflect the results of any lottery it holds by submitting a statutory return form to the local authority within three months of the lottery draw aking place.

Visit the Gambling Commission Small Lotteries Enforcement guidance for details of all licensing and registration requirements

No licence is required for: 

  • incidental non-commercial lotteries, usually taking place at fund raising events such as school fetes. To qualify as non-commercial, all the money raised, including entrance fees, refreshments etc, must go to purposes other than private gain
  • private society lotteries in which only the members of that society can take part
  • work lotteries in which only people who work in the same place can participate
  • resident lotteries which only people who live in the same premises can enter
  • customer lotteries in which only customers of a particular business can take part

Visit the Gambling Commission or contact the council below. 


Small society lotteries that need to be registered with the local authority must pay a statutory fee of £40 and £20 for the annual renewal fee (cheque payable to Newport City Council) to be paid when the application is made. 


Email or contact Newport City Council and ask for the licensing team.